It was just four short years ago that I was lying in bed feeling like I just wanted to give up and stop the suffering. I kept thinking my entire life is falling apart in front of my life. You see at the time I had been fighting Lyme Disease for four years and it kept coming back and kicking my backside.
It wasn’t fun and it was the darkest period of my life. This pain and suffering went on for another year before I finally emerged from the darkness a completely different person.
The combination of the illness, the medication, the mental, physical and emotional suffering had seared a powerful traumatic memory into the very essence of my being. Despite those freshly acquired scars, I felt excited. I felt relief and I felt different.
I knew deep down that this was it. I was done with that illness and I was in a state of gratitude for the experience. Was I some kind of a sadist? No far from it. I was just someone who had been through the ringer like so many millions of people and realized that period of suffering was the greatest gift of my life.
It had taken five years of me squirming, crying, screaming, kicking, shouting, begging, praying, running, worrying, cursing, negotiating with the higher power for a release to finally break free of my old conditioning. My old model of life that was filled with fear, self-doubt and low self-esteem had been vanquished.
It was like a rebirth. A long painful one.
I know I am not alone and there are millions of people all around the world who are suffering every single day and the majority of them more than I did. And so I look back at that time in my life as a blessing with many lessons to be learned.
And I want to share with you some of those lessons, so if you are in a place of suffering right now or know of someone who is, then you can apply some of these to your life:
Trust the process of life – Life happens for us and not to us. This is not always easy to accept but when we shift our perception and beliefs about life to those that are open and consider that what we go through in life is for our own greater good.
Most of the time there is nothing we can do about that situation and so we have to allow it to happen. Fighting and struggling with the situation only increases the suffering.
Pay attention – When we take on this viewpoint of life, then we need to be constantly aware. We need to pay attention to life and the struggle we face, to see if there are any lessons within that situation or event that will help us.
Instead of fighting the situation, ask yourself “what is that I can learn from this”? When we do this we experience a massive shift in our thoughts and approach to life. It allows us to become more accepting and receptive to new ideas and possibilities.
Answers come within – Quite often we are so busy praying, begging and looking for guidance from the outside world to help rescue us from this time of suffering that we forget to pay attention to what is within us.
When we can shut down the mind for a little time and pay attention to the way we feel within, and to our gut feeling or instincts, we will often find the solution to our problem. It might not be an immediate solution, but it could just be an inner knowing. A knowing that all will be well and work out just fine for us.
See it as a way to grow and change – life itself is dynamic, every changing and expanding. Well, guess what? We are a part of that universe so it is only obvious that we should change and grow over time too right?
When we stop moving and we stop growing we are in essence, starting to decay and die.
Sometimes these periods of suffering are an opportunity for real deep personal and spiritual change within us. See it as a period of growth and that you are in the midst of a learning season with the universe.
Discover your true self – during these times of suffering and pain, there is a “loss”. We feel like we are losing something. That loss is either the ability to earn money, our savings, our time, our young years, living life like other “normal” people, and emotional, mental or physical loss.
Those are just labels that we are using to define ourselves and we are attached to them. That is how we use to measure ourselves to society and figure out how we are doing. Those elements don’t define us, yet the loss of these is really what causes the most suffering for many of us.
The thing you realize over time is that all those “things” you were clinging onto and protecting yourself from losing, are actually not real. When we allow ourselves to stop being defined by them, we discover our true self.
Use the experience to help others – finally what good is going through all that suffering if you are not going to use it to help out other people in their lives?
Make sure you use this blessing to go out there and share it with the world. There are people out there that will need your wisdom, knowledge and experience.
I hope you enjoyed this and remember:
It is from places of great suffering and pain that we discover our true nature. @kennethtodd (Click to Tweet!)
Love and peace,